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6.1 Definitions of Consumer, Complainant, Goods, Service - Meaning of Consumer Dispute, Complaint - Unfair Trade Practices - Restrictive TradePractices6.

2 Rights of Consumers6.3 Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 6.1 Definitions of Consumer, Complainant, Goods, Service - Meaning of Consumer Dispute, Complaint - Unfair Trade Practices Restrictive Trade Practices 6.2 Rights of Consumers 6.3 Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies

IBMR/RKG/LAB-LRM/MBA SEM1-MMM SEM3/CPA

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6.1 Definitions of Consumer, Complainant, Goods, Service - Meaning of Consumer Dispute, Complaint - Unfair Trade Practices - Restrictive TradePractices6.2 Rights of Consumers6.3 Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies

6.0 Salient Features: 1) 2) 3) 4) It applies to all goods and services unless finally exempted by the Central Government. It covers all sectors whether private, public or co-operative. It confers certain rights on consumers. It envisages establishment of consumer protection councils at the Central and State levels whose main object shall be promoting ad protecting the rights of the consumers. 5) The provisions of this act are in addition to and not in derogation of any provisions of any other Act. 6.0a Objectives of Consumer Protection Act 1) To provide for better protection of interest of consumers. 2) In order to meet the aforesaid objective, to provide for the establishment for consumer councils and other authorities. 3) To empower the consumer councils and other authorities to settle consumers disputes and matters connected therewith. 6.1 Definitions of Consumer, Complainant, Goods, Service - Meaning of Consumer Dispute, Complaint - Unfair Trade Practices - Restrictive Trade Practices 6.1a Consumer: A consumer means any of the following persons: 1) A person who buys any goods for the consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised or under any system of deferred payment, i.e., in respect of Hire Purchase transactions. The term includes any other user of such goods when such use is made with buyers approval. 2) A person who hires or avails of any services for consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment. The term includes any other beneficiary of such services with the approval of the first mentioned person. The services used for commercial purposes are excluded from the purview of the consumer courts enabling them to concentrate on providing relief to individual consumers. 6.1b Complaint: Complaint means any allegation in writing made by a complainant with a view to obtain any relief under the act, that: 1) Any unfair trade practice or restrictive trade practice has been adopted by any trader or service provider and complainant has suffered damage or loss. 2) The goods bought by him or agreed to be bought by him suffer from defects in any respect. 3) The services hired or availed of or agreed to be bought by him suffer from any deficiency in any respect. IBMR/RKG/LAB-LRM/MBA SEM1-MMM SEM3/CPA Page 2

6.1 Definitions of Consumer, Complainant, Goods, Service - Meaning of Consumer Dispute, Complaint - Unfair Trade Practices - Restrictive TradePractices6.2 Rights of Consumers6.3 Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies

4) A trader or service provider has charged for the goods or services mentioned in the complaint, a price in excess of the agreed price. 5) Goods which are hazardous to life and safety when used, are being offered for sale to the public. 6) Services which are hazardous or likely to be hazardous to life and safety of the public when used are being offered by the service provider. 6.1c Complainant: A complainant means any of the following and having made a complaint: i) ii) iii) iv) v) A consumer. Any voluntary consumer association registered under companies act 1956, or any other law. The Central Government or the State Government. One or more consumers, where there are numerous consumers having the same interests. In case of death of consumer, his or her legal heir or representative.

Consumer dispute [S2 (1) (c)]: It means a dispute, where the person where the person against whom a complaint has been made, denies or disputes the allegations contained in the complaint. 6.1d Restrictive Trade practice and Unfair trade practice: Restrictive trade practice: This definition was introduced in the Act vide the Amendment Act, 1993. It has again been amended by the Amendment Act, 2002. It provides that a restrictive trade practice means a trade practice which tends to bring about manipulation of price or its conditions of delivery or to affect the flow of supplies in the market relating to goods or services in such a manner as to impose on the consumers unjustified costs or restrictions and shall include: a) Delay beyond the period agreed to, by a trader in supply of such goods or in providing the services which has led or is likely to lead to rise in the price. b) Any trade practice which requires a consumer to buy, hire or avail of any goods or, as the case may be, services as condition precedent to buying, hiring or availing of other goods or services. Unfair trade practice: The expression unfair trade practice is defined to mean a trade practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or supply of any goods or, for the provision of any services, adopts any unfair method or unfair/ deceptive practice including any of the following practices, namely: a) Misleading Advertisement and False representations Advertisements and representations are supposed to be simple, transparent and upholding societal value. IBMR/RKG/LAB-LRM/MBA SEM1-MMM SEM3/CPA Page 3

6.1 Definitions of Consumer, Complainant, Goods, Service - Meaning of Consumer Dispute, Complaint - Unfair Trade Practices - Restrictive TradePractices6.2 Rights of Consumers6.3 Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies

b) Bargain Sale If any goods or services are publicized at a bargain price but are not intended to be sold or supplied at a bargain price. c) Offering gifts, prizes, etc and conducting contacts or lottery, with the intention of not providing them as offered or with-holding the final results of scheme offering gifts etc. d) Not conforming to prescribed standards, e.g., sale of helmets without ISI certification. e) Hoarding or destruction of goods. f) Manufacture of spurious goods. 6.2 Rights of consumers: 6.2a Right to safety: Right to be protected against the marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property. 6.2b Right to be informed: The right to be informed about the quality, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services, as the case may be, so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practice. 6.2c Right to choose: It means right to be assured, whenever possible, access to a variety of goods and services of competitive prices. In case of monopolies like railways, telephones etc, it means right to be assured to satisfactory quality and service at a fair price. 6.2d Right to be heard: Consumers interest will receive due consideration at appropriate forums. It also includes right to be represented in various forums formed to consider the consumers welfare. 6.2e Right to seek Redressal: It means the right to seek Redressal against unfair practices or restrictive trade practices or unscrupulous explanation of consumers. 6.2f Right to Consumer education: It means the right to acquire the knowledge and skill to be an informed consumer.

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6.1 Definitions of Consumer, Complainant, Goods, Service - Meaning of Consumer Dispute, Complaint - Unfair Trade Practices - Restrictive TradePractices6.2 Rights of Consumers6.3 Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies

6.3 Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies-District Forum, State Commission & National Commission. 6.3a District Forum: If the value of goods or services and compensation does not exceed Rs.20 lac, then the complaint can be filed in District forum with the local limits of whose jurisdiction the opposite party actually resides. Procedure of admission of complaint: 1) Procedure in respect of goods where the defect alleged requires no testing or analysis: Refer a copy of the admitted complaint within 21 days from the date of its admission to the opposite party mentioned in the complaint directing him to give his version of the case within a period of 30 days or such extended period not exceeding 15 days, as may be granted by the district forum. 2) Procedure in respect of goods where the defect alleged requires analysis or testing: a) Where the complainant alleges a defect in the goods which cannot be determined without proper analysis or test of the goods, the district forum shall obtain sample and refer it to appropriate laboratory. The report must be handed over within 45 days from the date of receipt. b) The amount of the same has to remitted by the party and district forum shall forward the report to the opposite party, c) If any of the party disputes the result of the test or the process of analysis, the objection has to be submitted in writing. d) Thereafter, the district forum shall give reasonable opportunity to both the parties of being heard as to the correctness or otherwise.

The power of District Forum (Section 13[4]) District Forum shall have the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the code of civil procedure, 1908 while trying to suit in respect of the following matters: i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) The summoning and enforcing the attendance of any defendant or witness and examining the witness on oath. The discovery and production of any document or other material object producible as evidence. The reception of evidence on affidavits. The requisitioning of the concerned analysis or test from the appropriate laboratory or from any other relevant source. Issuing of any commission (i.e., warrant confirming authority) for the examination of way witness. Any other matter which may be prescribed.

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6.1 Definitions of Consumer, Complainant, Goods, Service - Meaning of Consumer Dispute, Complaint - Unfair Trade Practices - Restrictive TradePractices6.2 Rights of Consumers6.3 Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies

Time Frame for Decisions of Consumer Courts: The complaint should be decided by the Redressal forum, as far as possible, within a period of 3 months from the date of notice received by the opposite party where complaint does not require analysis or testing of the commodities and within 5 months if it requires analysis or testing of commodities. Reliefs available to consumers (Section 14): Based on the proceedings conducted by the District Forum, it shall issue an order to the opposite party directing him to do one or more of the following things: a) To remove defect or defects pointed out by the appropriate laboratory b) To replace the goods with new goods of similar description which shall be free from defects c) To return to the complainant the price, or as the case may be, the charges paid by complainant. d) To pay such amount as may be awarded by it as compensation to the consumer for any loss or injury suffered by the consumer due to negligence of the other party. e) To remove the defects in goods or deficiencies of services in question. f) To discontinue the unfair trade practice or restrictive trade practice or not to repeat them. g) Not to offer hazardous goods for sale. h) To with draw the hazardous goods from being offered for sale. i) To issue corrective advertisement to neutralize the effect of misleading advertisement. j) To provide for adequate costs for parties. 6.3b State Commission: If the value of goods or services or compensation claimed if any, exceeds Rs.20 lac but does not exceed Rs. 1 Crore, the complaint shall be filed before state commission. Where a joint petition is filed on behalf of a large number of victims, it is the total amount of compensation claimed in the petition (and not in the individual claims) that will determine the question of jurisdiction. In case, the total compensation claimed exceeds Rs.20 lac but less than equal to 1crore, the matter shall be taken by State commission. Appeal to State Commission: Any person aggrieved by an order made by District Forum may prefer and appeal against such order to the state commission within a period of 30 days from the date of the order. However, the state commission may entitle appeals after that if it feels so. While appealing to District Commission, the applicant has to deposit 50% of that amount or Rs.25, 000 whichever is less. All other procedures or powers remain the same as that of District Forum.

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6.1 Definitions of Consumer, Complainant, Goods, Service - Meaning of Consumer Dispute, Complaint - Unfair Trade Practices - Restrictive TradePractices6.2 Rights of Consumers6.3 Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies

6.3c National Commission: If the value of goods or service and the compensation if any, exceeds Rs. 1 Crore, complaint can be filed before the National Commission. The national commission shall also have the jurisdiction to entertain appeals against the order of any State commission. Appeal to National Commission: Any person aggrieved by an order made by the State Commission may prefer an appeal against such order to the National Commission within a period of 30 days from the date of order. No appeal by a person, who is required to pay any amount in terms of an order by the State Commission, shall be entertained by the National Commission, unless the appellant has deposited 50% of the amount or Rs.55, 000, whichever is less. An appeal filed before the state commission or the National Commission shall be heard as expediously as possible, and an Endeavour shall be made to finally dispose of the appeal within a period of 90 days from the date of its admission,. 6.3d Appeal to the supreme court against the orders of National Commission. Any person, aggrieved by an order made by National Commission, may prefer an appeal against such order to Supreme Court, within a period of 30 days from the date of the order. However, Supreme Court may entertain an appeal after expiry of the period of 30 days, if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing the case within that period. No appeal by a person, who is required to pay any amount in terms of an order of the National Commission shall be entertained by the Supreme Court unless that person has deposited 50% of that amount or Rs.55, 000 whichever is less.

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